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  • Ellen Mary

It's Norfolk Show Time!

I am so thrilled to be working with the team at the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association to bring a new and exciting horticultural experience to the Royal Norfolk Show this year! Having attended and filmed at the show in previous years, getting my hands dirty as Horticultural Co-ordinator is a real privilege.

The area at the Norfolk show is being transformed into a unique, interactive, community hub for both experts in horticulture and budding gardeners alike. Whilst the space has always been a great place for floral inspiration, the new space will be bigger, more interactive, and cover a wider variety of horticultural styles to suit the ever growing industry. It’s a very exciting change for visitors this year.

The design layout is in the shape of a tree, depicting the overall feeling of wellbeing that trees provide us and pathways to the marquees just as though visitors are walking through a garden. We will be inviting talented garden designers to show off their skills with an area dedicated to show gardens which will all incorporate one of the three main themes of the show this year - Wellbeing, Field to Fork and our Coast.

We are excited to have a ‘community hub’ this year where there will be an allotment space that we will be inviting community and charity groups to run, with a demonstration area for talks suited to growing fruit and vegetables. Visitors will be able to chat with volunteers on the plot about growing food at home or starting a new allotment themselves. We want to support our remarkable Norfolk charities who do so much for our local communities and of course, this is the ‘plot to plate’ area in keeping with one of the shows main themes of 2018 - Field to Fork.

Alongside the plot to plate space, there will be a pollinators garden created and the Norfolk Bee Keepers Society will be back with their bees. This will help to show how we need bees for our food chain and how that process works directly with our own gardens and allotments.

Schools will be invited to design their own fun and colourful show gardens in raised beds along the main pathway to the marquees, again following one or all of the main themes of the show and judged by industry experts. There are some great initiatives in Norfolk schools to encourage young people into gardening and this will provide them with a superb opportunity to get their hands dirty and enjoy having fun with plants. Something that is so important to the future of horticulture and our wellbeing.

Norfolk & Norwich Horticultural Society will be back of course with their fantastic floral marquee full of show flowers, fruit and vegetables along with other dazzling displays which has always been a popular place to visit at the show. I can't wait to see what amazing displays are produced this year.

Another major addition to the area this year is the indoor and urban marquee. We recognise that horticulture is often focussed on larger rural areas but indoor and urban gardening is not only a current trend but also a necessity for our wellbeing and we want to show just how fascinating, accessible and easy it can be to incorporate plants into our everyday life. From living walls to air plants and even how transforming a small front garden can make a huge difference to our urban areas. We will be inviting both trade and designers to make this marquee a place where nature meets technology and modern living.

There will also be numerous fantastic trade stands from a variety of strong Norfolk horticultural businesses. Our county show provides the opportunity for traders to show thousands of visitors just what can be achieved in horticulture.

The demonstration marquee will be all about entertainment by creating a fun and interesting space with a full programme for both learning and relaxing. From cookery talks to gardening, live bands and lots more to keep visitors entertained whatever their interest…there will of course be food and drink available as well.

We are eager to promote horticulture in our county and this year will show how important this is to everyone at the Norfolk Show. It’s all about community, our diverse Norfolk landscape and we will have something for everyone this year to enjoy and learn from.

If you would like to get involved in any way at all, contact me as soon as possible...we are plotting and planning so come onboard and show everyone how Norfolk is the place to be for horticulture!

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